Crime and punishment
March 17, 2014
Getty Images

Late Sunday, off the coast of Cyprus, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs captured the hijacked oil tanker Morning Glory from Libyan rebels. "No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans," said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. President Obama authorized the raid just after 10 p.m. on Sunday.

U.S. forces will escort the ship back to a port controlled by Libya's central government, which is fighting various factions for possession of the country's vast oil reserves.

The story of the Morning Glory is complicated and slightly madcap, but with serious implications for Libya and Europe, which gets oil from the country via a pipeline to Italy. On March 1, the North Korea-flagged ship turned off its satellite transponder and a week later turned up in the eastern Libyan port of Es Sider, which is controlled by a rebel militia that is trying to sell oil from the region for its own profit. On March 10, the tanker left port carrying 234,000 barrels of oil.

If breakaway regions are allowed to sell oil on their own, the Libyan government will quickly go bankrupt. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan ordered the Morning Glory stopped, even if it meant sinking the vessel. With Libya's navy essentially nonexistent and its air force embroiled in its own infighting, the militia Zeidan sent out to stop the tanker failed. Parliament then sacked Zeidan, who subsequently fled to Germany. On March 13, North Korea revoked the Morning Glory's registration, making it a stateless vessel.

Contraband oil is harder to sell than you might think. Libya could still descend into civil war, as various militias battle for resources and influence. But now at least the rebels in the oil-rich east know the risks of trying to use a heavily watched and coveted international commodity as a weapon. Peter Weber

Congress!
10:23 a.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Since announcing his retirement earlier this year, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has apparently decided to let his uncensored self take a ride all over Washington, D.C., recently calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his longtime bete noire, a "lump of coal" and dismissing the entire 2016 Republican presidential field as a bunch of "losers."

So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that he came up with a rather interesting response when asked if he would pursue a lobbying career after his time in the Senate. "I would rather be taken to Singapore and caned," he told Politico.

We'll take that as a no. Ryu Spaeth

The best part of waking up
10:19 a.m. ET
(iStock)

Good news, dudes: You may be able to stave off impotence with an extra cup of Joe, according to a new study. Men who consume more caffeine — the sweet spot seemed to be two to three cups of coffee a day — had a lower risk of erectile dysfunction compared to men who consume little to no caffeine per day.

If you're not a big coffee drinker, the caffeine used in the study included tea, soda and sports drinks as well. Researchers believe caffeine relaxes certain arteries and muscles in the penis, which improves blood flow and the ability to have an erection.

Of course, more research is needed, and men with diabetes are the exception. But otherwise, drink up, buddies! Lauren Hansen

I'm walking here
10:11 a.m. ET

OldNYC.org is an amazing look into the New York of days past. They've taken the historical photos from the New York Public Library database, and mapped them out based on where they were taken.

Here's a sample. This is from a parade celebrating the National Recovery Administration going by that selfsame library in September 1933:

And that's just one among thousands. Check it out. Ryan Cooper

Science!
10:04 a.m. ET
Screenshot/Courtesy Nerdalize

Computers, particularly the massive servers that undergird the internet, give off a ton of heat, so much that internet companies spend a good chunk of money on keeping them cool. But why let that heat go to waste?

That's the inspiration behind a heating system created by Dutch company Nerdalize, which wants to exploit the "nerd power" of computers for energy purposes, according to the BBC. Instead of keeping servers in a massive warehouse, they're spread out via fiber-optic cable to people's homes, where the computers are encased in iPod-like radiator casings. And voila: free heat (after a few set-up costs).

Nerdalize's pilot program will last a year, and it has some corporate clients, as well.

Read the whole story at the BBC. Ryu Spaeth

Coming Soon
9:32 a.m. ET

The internet tends to go wild over anything Bill Murray does, so the announcement of a Netflix-only Bill Murray Christmas special is a pretty big deal. The star-studded cast list released by Netflix — which includes George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, and Miley Cyrus, among others — offers even more reasons to get excited.

But despite all that promise, the brief teaser for A Very Murray Christmas sees the star looking pretty glum:

Cheer up, Bill! 'Tis the season (roughly seven months from now). Scott Meslow

This doesn't look good
9:30 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Hundreds of protesters marched in Washington state on Thursday after news broke that a white police officer in Olympia shot two unarmed black stepbrothers. The men were allegedly trying to steal beer from a grocery store. Both men are in stable condition and are expected to survive the shooting.

Ryan Donald, the police officer who confronted the stepbrothers, said the 21- and 24-year-old men had assaulted him with a skateboard on Thursday. Witnesses at the scene claimed one of the men was "advancing aggressively toward the officer," according to The Seattle Times.

Police say the men were not armed with guns when they were shot, and a team of detectives is investigating the shooting. The protesters marched from a park to the Olympia police headquarters on Thursday night, chanting the names of the shooting victims as well as slogans including "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No Peace." Meghan DeMaria

The Voice
9:30 a.m. ET

Close your eyes and think back to that classic Notting Hill scene in which Julia Roberts asks Hugh Grant to love her. Now, speed ahead to the two-minute mark in the video below and have that touching moment ruined forever.

Roberts and Grant are just two of the actors who poke fun at themselves in a sketch for NBC's "Red Nose Day" — Daniel Craig and Liam Neeson also take turns confessing to their "real" voices, all of which, the sketch claims, have had to be dubbed over for audiences.

Give Roberts credit: She takes the brunt of the gag but seems to be having a ball in her documentary-style interviews. However, watching Craig insist he is a "manly man" is good for a laugh as well. Enjoy the stars revealing their less than velvety "real" voices in the video below. —Sarah Eberspacher

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